City to Start Recycling More Plastics Soon, Officials Say

By Jeanmarie Evelly on April 8, 2013 2:14pm 

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg and sanitation officials at a press conference announcing the expansion of the city's recycling efforts on Oct. 27, 2008.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and sanitation officials at a press conference announcing the expansion of the city's recycling efforts on Oct. 27, 2008.
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Chris Hondros/Getty Images

NEW YORK CITY — New York City will start recycling more plastics soon, letting New Yorkers put more than just plastic bottles and jugs in their recycling bins.

The move comes after several years of plummeting recycling rates — as low as 9 percent in East Harlem in 2011 — and a recent push by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to improve the city's recycling performance.

The mayor has pledged to double the amount of waste diverted from landfills by 2017, and recently backed plans to ban Styrofoam takeout containers and to start a composting pilot program on Staten Island.

Ignazio Terranova, a community affairs officer for the Department of Sanitation, said at a town hall meeting in Astoria last week that the city will start recycling more plastics in the next few months.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Sanitation confirmed the change, but would not specify when.

"The Department is planning to add more plastics for recycling in the near future," spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins said in an e-mail. 

Exactly what types of plastics will be included have yet to be announced, Dawkins said.

The Sanitation Department currently accepts only plastic jugs and bottles for recycling. Other commonly used plastics — like yogurt containers, frozen food trays and plastic cups — need to be thrown out.

Those kinds of plastics are manufactured differently and and need to be recycled separately from standard plastic jugs and bottles, according to the Sanitation Department's website.

Plastic bags can be taken to large grocery stores for recycling.

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